Akita Kanto Matsuri

Kanto Odori (street), Akita city


Kanto Odori (street), Akita city, Akita
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From 3rd to 6th, August


Office of the executive committee of Akita Kanto Fesitival
E-mail: akita@kantou.gr.jp

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Akita Kanto Matsuri


Akita Kanto Matsuri is one of the three major festivals in the Tohoku region. It has a history of over 260 years and designated as the Important Intangible Cultural Properties in Japan. No less than 270 of Kanto (long bamboo pole with arrays of paper lanterns) with a total of more than 10,000 lanterns crowded in the night of Akita city will give you a fantastic view.

It is said that Kanto festival is originated from "Neburi Nagashi", an event held during the Bon (a period that souls of ancestors come to their family's home) in the middle of the Edo period. The event had been held for ridding illness and maliciousness in summer, and it has developed independently from the original style.

The big Kanto measures 12 meters tall and has 9 storied horizonal pole on which lanterns are hung, weighs 50 kg. A total of lanterns for a big Kanto is no less than 46. A Kanto is carried only by one person and he performs acrobatic feats like putting the Kanto pole on a palm, forehead, shoulder and waist to the rhythm of a musical accompaniment.

In the daytime a competition of Kanto bearer is held. The performers are judged by accuracy of the skill, finess of posture and balance of Kanto.